Over the past few weeks, I have prepared to separate myself from Swenny in order to leave the turmoil of alcoholism behind. Telling myself that I wasn’t running away, but moving on, I forecasted my future without him. It wasn’t idyllic, and it wasn’t free from alcoholism. Because when one of us struggles, we both do. Swenny with sobriety, and me with doing what I believe is best.
I have taken into consideration our vows, our children, and our future to determine what is right. Time and again, I have found that what is right is the two of us facing alcoholism together. And even though every relapse weakens our resolve, we somehow remain strong. Until a few days ago, I would have taken full credit for that, believing that I was shouldering the burden of his alcoholism so he would not have to.
But his burden remained. And nearly one month sober, in a moment of clarity, he asked me how I would like this to play out. A combination of guilt, fear and love left me struggling to answer…and I saw my struggle become his. Over the course of a conversation that took us from room to room and chore to chore, he accepted responsibility for the alcoholism that has overwhelmed our family. Appreciating the difficulty I am having in balancing my need for space with wanting to be supportive of him, Swenny asked me to give to him my guilt for the difficult decisions that await me. So I did.
And as my guilt subsided ever so slightly, I was reminded why I love him so much.